Will Taylor turned down a lot of money from the 2021 MLB Draft to play football and baseball at Clemson.
After Day 5 of fall camp on Wednesday on the practice fields behind the Allen Reeves Football Complex head coach Dabo Swinney compared Taylor to the most unassuming quarterback in college football who went on to assert himself as a legend, Doug Flutie.
“Will Taylor can do anything. I called him Doug Flutie the other day, I imagine that’s what Doug Flutie looked like,” Swinney said.
Flutie played quarterback at Boston College from 1981-84 and had an illustrious career and won the 1984 Heisman Trophy.
He also completed one of the greatest plays in college football history with the “Hail Mary” to stun Miami on the road in Nov. 1984.
“He’s electric, makes all these throws from crazy angles and you wonder how did he even see that guy? But he sees them all and gets the ball off,” Swinney said of Taylor. “I’m sure that’s what people said about Doug Flutie back in the day. He’s a special dude, has ice water in his veins and we got us a good one right there.”
Taylor played quarterback at Dutch Fork High School and led the Silver Foxes to a fifth straight South Carolina state championship last fall. He also excelled on the diamond as a centerfielder and won a state championship in baseball for the Silver Foxes. And he won a wrestling state championship early in his high school career.
Eventually Swinney plans to move Taylor over to wide receiver but with Taisun Phommachanh limited due to an achilles injury sustained in the spring game Taylor adds a layer of depth to the quarterback room. Right now the focus of camp for Taylor is mastering the playbook.
Swinney also plans for Taylor to get some playing time returning punts this year because of his athleticism and eye for the ball.
“Heck yeah, he’s a natural,” Swinney said. “He plays centerfield, knows how to get behind the ball, knows how to see it off the foot, understands elements of the game, he’s so coachable and easy. So you will definitely see him returning some punts this year.”
Swinney loves the plan the coaching staff made for Taylor to help the Tigers in a variety of ways and said he can’t wait to watch him play on the gridiron this fall and for Monte Lee’s Tigers in the spring.
But he made sure to emphasize not to count the true freshman out from taking a few snaps this year and throughout his career at Clemson.
“Eventually he’ll move but he’s going to play some quarterback in his day here regardless of if we move him,” Swinney said. “He brings some things to the table that are unique.”